Friday, April 30, 2010

Botanical garden

We went to the botanical garden at Schloß Nymphenburg. It sure was good of Mom and Dad to order up some hot, muggy weather to make all the flowers bloom just in time for my birthday. The plants and I, we communed. We rapported. Our souls got to know each other as fellow travelers in this, our shared universe. But Mom and Dad still wouldn't let me eat any.

The best part of sunny weather is wearing a frilly sun bonnet like the one Dad gave me for my birthday. I can't say how much I love my frilly sun bonnet.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

12-month review

I've accomplished a lot in the past twelve months.
  • I was born
  • I learned how to nurse and to drink from a bottle, sippy cup or glass
  • I learned how to roll over, sit up, crawl, cruise, and stand
  • I learned to smile, laugh, and squeal with delight
  • I learned how to eat pretzels
  • I grew about 10 inches, a gain of 55%
  • I grew about 12.5 pounds, a gain of 243%
  • I learned how to clap my hands
  • I learned a proto-ASL sign and a couple of proto-words
  • I learned my name
  • I learned that people and things still exist even when I can't see them
  • I had a major surgery and two MRIs
  • I was treated by 12 doctors and countless PAs and nurses
  • I flew over 20,000 miles on 6 airplane flights
  • I parked a crib in 6 hotel rooms and 3 friends' guest rooms
  • I moved to a new country 9 time zones away
  • I outgrew 3 diaper sizes and 3 big cartons of clothing
  • I wrote 379 blog posts
  • I took 1,320 naps
  • I ate around 7,300 ounces of milk, 45 pounds of baby glop, less grown-up food than Mom and Dad wanted, and 14 Bavarian soft pretzels
  • I soiled 17,381,927,426.73 diapers
Hard work pays off!

Happy Birthday to Me!

You say it's my birthday; happy birthday to me. By my count this makes my sixth birthday so far, plus one unbirthday. Bet not too many 1-year-olds can say that.

I got what I wished for! I wish for a pretzel every time we go to a café, and I usually get one. But it was awfully nice of my new friend the café lady to include a candle. It's those little touches that really make an occasion go to 11.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

League of scary strange people

Dad went to a biergarten to meet an expat group called the League of Accidental Hausfrauen. Dad's not a "frau", but he frowns, so I guess he qualifies. And how do you become a hausfrau by accident? You start the day in a house — did they forget to leave? If so, how did they wind up in this biergarten? Maybe they're accidentally frauing the wrong house. Or maybe the name was shortened from "Leauge of Frauen who accidentally got kicked out of their haus because they were too loud", because that sure describes the mob of people we met. I think they should be called "League of people Dad talks to when he's supposed to play with me." But there were five other babies to meet, so I'll forgive Dad for preventing my eating gravel. This time.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I dig food

I just love a dish I can really sink my fingers into.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Soap's on

Now that I've gotten dressed and eaten breakfast, it's time to watch my soaps. My favorite is As the World Turns. It's the only show that comes in on this set, but it's crystal clear every time.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Take a stand

Take a stand against recycling! I've discovered that I can be much more effective at creating havoc if I let go of the furniture and use both hands.

My shoes are still dirtier on the tops than the soles, though.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

That's one big dog

I always thought I had plenty of everything. But I suddenly have an inexplicable feeling that something is missing from my life, like a pain that I never noticed until someone pointed it out. I don't know what that huge speckled dog is called, but Dad's name is Mud until I get one.

Spring festward

Frühlingsfest is German for "party without tourists". This is when the natives get to see what all the foreigners do at Oktoberfest. As far as I can tell, they eat and drink a lot, play rigged midway games, and go on rides to make room for more eating and drinking.

We saw lots of traditional Bavarian stuff here: ladies in dirndls, men in lederhosen, gingerbread hearts, meterwurst, rain, and of course the famous revolving Barousel.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Making friends at the playground

Dad took me to the playground at Münchner Freiheit. Who knew other babies like the same rides that I do? It's a great way to make new friends. I call my new friend, "New Friend." He never answers anyway.

Moving Up in the World

I can climb stairs! You can see this and other stirring episodes of my daily life on YouTube.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Continental breakfast

I don't know where people get the idea that a "continental" breakfast is a chintzy pastry and coffee. In this part of the continent, we have müsli. If cold oats can power a horse all day, just think what they can do for a baby.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Our House

It's a very very very fine house. It looks big, but from my perspective, so does a mailbox. We have housemates here too, but we only see them on the stairs.

Monday, April 12, 2010

What's a matta you?

Today was a red-letter day: I got to play with a bunch of new toys from the Kinderflohmarkt. My favorite is a set of foam alphabet tiles.

Bring home some bacon

Mom snuck out this morning and I haven't seen her in hours. Wonder what she's doing out of the house all day? I hope Mom doesn't expect Dad to entertain me all day, because he's just moping about and gazing at the spot he cleared off where the internet connection is going to go.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A stitch in time

Here's a new wrinkle on an old wrinkle. Dad found some loose threads sticking out of where my tail used to be. When he snipped them and pulled them out, the scar that used to be kind of bumpy smoothed right out. Wish he could do the same for the big one on my back.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Over, under, and through

Coming home today we ran across a children's flea market at the U-bahn stop. Lots of kids were hocking their treasures to invest in Pokémon cards.

I got some new toys, and a massive baby buggy that strikes fear into the hearts of pedestrians everywhere. In this photo you can see I cleared a section of tables at the Chinesischer Turm. Out of my way or I'll bruise your shins!


It's yummy almond paste — and half-price after Easter. If California produces 75% of the world's almonds, how come I had to come to Germany to discover marzipan?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hauling it all home

Got me a stylin' new high chair. And I didn't know cribs could have comfy mattresses!

Watching Mom and Dad haul it all home on the bus and train was like when we moved into our apartment, only funnier. Lots of the pieces were really big and didn't have wheels or handles.

If Mom hadn't bought a shopping trolley and assembled it just in time to take stuff from the cashier, we'd probably still be there.

Answer: Ikea

Question: What's blue and yellow, a hundred thousand cubic meters big, and fits in every home in Europe?

Everything you can imagine under one roof, laid out in systems that demonstrate how the components work harmoniously together. Everyone is friendly and welcoming. It's like Utopia in Blue. I'm so happy here, I don't ever want to leave. They even have an indoor playground, where... okay, I'm ready to leave.

People eat this stuff?

I really liked sweet potatoes and squash. I was okay with turkey dinner and peas. I even ate spinach-lentil mix. But kohlrabi? Parsnips? Potatoes in everything? Bleagh. Just give me a pretzel.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Riding high

I like riding in my Daddy Saddle. It's more interesting than my stroller, because I can see duhs and buhs further away. It's warmer, too, which is turning out to be important. So every time Dad puts it on, I reward him with a big leg-hug.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The non-retail bank

Stadtsparkasse München doesn't sell mobile phone covers, they sell toy panthers. And the people are friendly and honor travelers' cheques. When Mom and Dad brought out their huge stack of American Expresses this morning, the teller called over the cashier, who called over another teller who speaks English, who told us to come back after lunch.

I guess they needed time to buy party favors. All six of us played together for the rest of the afternoon. Everyone took turns with the pieces of paper: holding them up to the light, writing on them, making phone calls, squinting at the little figures... I've never seen anyone get so much entertainment from scraps of paper — and I know my scrap paper.

When the party was over, everybody shook hands and the tellers gave me this cute kitty. Buying stuff in a strange country isn't so hard.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dog, bird.

I'm an old hand at making sounds to get other people to do things. I used to cry to get Mom and Dad to do pretty much anything. Effective, but inefficient.

I've got them trained better now. When I say "duh", they look around for a dog. "Buh" makes them point to a bird. And "meh-meh-meh-meh-MEH!" gets me a bottle of milk, but never fast enough.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Germany has little girls too

Today we went to visit Chiara and her parents for Easter Monday brunch. Mom works with Chiara's dad, but I've never seen her in the office lobby.

Chiara's bigger than me, but littler than Rebecca. She has a bunch of cool toys, most of which Mom took away before I could properly assess their nutritional content. But there were lots of yummy things on the table. Kiwi, yes. Croissant, definitely. Weißwurst... maybe next time.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Where there's a pill, there's a way

Back in California, my Prilosec came in an unstable mix with baking soda and water that needs to be kept cool, but not frozen. This is a poor solution for travel. Here, Prilosec comes only in pills, which I can't swallow. Fortunately, German houses are equipped with handy pill crushers. And medicine mixed into yogurt tastes like... yogurt! I don't know what this says about yogurt.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Englischer Garten

We explored the nearby Englischer Garten this afternoon, along with half the population of Munich. Mom and Dad walked over from home, and I rode. I crawled around on the lawn for a little while, but Mom wouldn't let me eat the goose drops, so I settled for ice cream.

Baby Loves Bratwurst

I think I'm going to like it here. Especially once I have opposable teeth.

It's not a proper German meal, though. Dad didn't get me a beer.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Busy Day

Today started with Mom and Dad stuffing everything back into suitcases. After that was the first highlight: breakfast! Then we shlepped off to the only doctor Mom and Dad know in this country, a neurologist who wrote us a prescription for an unspoiled package of my tummy medicine before the 4-day holiday weekend.

From there we raced across town to our new apartment for the inspection and turnover. We won by a (cold) nose!

After that, it was back to the hotel for jackets and the first load of suitcases, hauling too many for me to count on a 30-minute trip by foot and subway. Of course, I can't count past — what's the first number? But Mom and Dad had stuff in each hand, stuff on their backs, stuff in my stroller, and me in my Daddy Saddle.

Then we went grocery shopping for… everything. Seems that Munich closes for the whole 4-day weekend. Finally Mom and Dad lugged all the groceries to our new home along with another huge pile of luggage. I can't walk yet, or I'm sure they would have given me something to drag.

The Sky is Falling!

It's like a fridge outside. One of the clouds must have broken, because it's dropping flakes of white stuff all over. There was nothing remotely like this on our first three days. Can we go back to California now?